Moving house with your cat Monday 11 June 2018 @ 08:00
MOVING HOUSE WITH YOUR CAT
We recently asked our followers about one piece of advice they would give to someone who is moving house with a cat. We all know that the process of moving house can be very stressful for territorial animals resulting in increased risk of them going missing.
Thank you, your response was truly amazing! We received so many great tips and valuable suggestions, that we decided to combine them all into one handy checklist that contains the wisdom and experience of so many people. It is a must-have for every family sharing their home with feline companions. So share it around and print/save it into your cat’s personal file (don’t have one? Time to make one) for future reference. Here we go…
“Moving house with your cat” guide.
CATTERY ACCOMMODATION. If you can afford it, place your cat with a cattery for a few days while moving.
Hazel Luckstedt recommends: “It is a good idea to put them in a cattery on the day the removal man comes. The removal of the furniture and the strange men really freak out most cats. I leave mine in the cattery until the furniture is safely in the new house. When you bring them home to the new house there are familiar things and smells which help to settle them in their new home.”
“We too put ours in a cattery. They are indoor cats and don't want them escaping through open doors during moving.” adds Wendy Goffage
KEEP THINGS UNDER CONTROL. If cattery is not a option, try following these steps provided by Toni Farlow:
“3-4 days prior to moving leave [your cats’] carriers out for them to get accustomed to.
On the day of moving, keep them in a room that won’t be accessed until you finally go.
Put them in carriers and take to new home. DO NOT LET THEM OUT YET!
Put them in a room that won’t be accessed while shifting furniture. Shut the door and leave them in the room in their carriers until all removalists have left. The cats can be let out of their carriers now but DO NOT LET THEM OUT OF THIS ROOM. Let them become accustomed to this room and its smells over 2-3 days. This gives them time to regain confidence after moving from their old home.
Depending on your cat’s confidence level, gradually let them explore more rooms a bit at a time. This could take 1-3 days or 1-3 weeks! ONLY THEN CAN YOU LET THEM OUTSIDE IF THEY ARE ALLOWED.” - Toni Farlow
Clare Dolphin also reminds you may need to “Wear earplugs for the drive…”
TAKE TIME TO ADJUST. So many of you have emphasised the importance of giving your cat enough time to get used to the indoors first by keeping them in for at least 2 weeks before allowing them to explore the outdoors.
Jan Kelly says: “I always keep them inside until they are comfortable in their new environment. Depending on the personality of the cat this could be any time between 4 - 14 days”
Christine Vimini adds: “Do not be tempted to let them outside, no matter how much they’re used to going outside and no matter how much they whinge. They must bond to the new place & that can take time. Depending on your cat, at least 2 weeks, up to 4 indoors.”
“If you think you’ve kept them inside for long enough, give it another week” suggests Kimberly Skilton
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS. Once your feline friend is used to the new house, you can take him or her outside to start exploring the surroundings:
Samuel Merlino says: “carry them around the block a few times or take them on a lead, if they don't like the lead then walk alongside them keeping an absolute HAWK eye on them so they don't get out of your reach… They should get familiar with the smells and the route home IF they do ever get out. And believe me, cats will find a way to get out! The thing is to make sure they are familiar with the territory so they know the way home and the safe places to hide if they get scared.”
Gill Youngleson also points out that “If other cats come into his new territory, you need to help your cat establish his by clapping loudly and frightening other cats away. It’s worked for two big moves.”
Deborahlea Harrison adds: “be on the lookout for other neighbourhood cats that may have already staked the place as territory as this is when cat fights happen.”
Another great idea is provided by Cathy Donaldson-Serkin: “get to know your neighbours asap. And tell them about your cat family member”
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE. Once you are confident about your kitty going outside on their own consider this advice:
Judy Lidstone says: “don't feed before letting out feed when they come back inside”
Anna Purgar also adds: “When you finally let them outside don't pick them up and place them in the middle of the lawn. Just open the door, sit with them so they can explore and feel secure.”
HELP TO RELAX: Many people reported to have great success with the following handy tricks:
Vivienne Timmins says: “Mum use to smear butter on their paws, her logic always was that they can't stand the feeling of it on them and will automatically groom and lick to clean off, which leads to being tired followed by sleep and thus starts the acclimatising to their new surroundings, new smells and noises that are in the background as they sleep.”
Christine Gillie explains: “Supposed to work because the logic is they lay back and clean themselves… so relax and accept it as home. I have always done it immediately on bringing them into the new home”
Samantha Moreland also adds this tip: “Cats have glands on their cheeks, rub a face washer on their face and then rub their scent in your new house, will help them settle faster as it will smell like them”
BRING FAMILIAR THINGS. Bring to your new house as many things from the old house as you can.
Nola Squeak Brewer recommends: “Make sure you have their usual bedding for them to sleep on… don't wash it as they need familiar smells to help them settle and feel at home”
Diana Bassani also adds: “don't wash a sheet or blanket that has your scent on it for them to cuddle up with.”
PLENTY OF TLC. And of course don’t forget to give them love and attention throughout the ordeal.
Kat Katrijn says: “Don’t get so caught up in your own moving-stress that you forget about spending time with them. They need to be ensured that the bond you share didn’t stay behind in the old house.”
SUPPLEMENTS. Try special cat pheromones to help your cat feel more calm and relaxed in the new environment:
Sharon Young recommends: “Plug in some feliway. You can get it at the vet. Sprays happy pheromones into the air to help keep your cat calm. Also good when introducing new cats.”
“If they are very stressed get some Rescue Remedy and put it in their food. Works really well to calm them down.” adds Kellie Mayne
CONSIDER KEEPING INDOORS. We strongly encourage you to consider keeping your cat inside on a permanent basis or think about setting up an enclosure for you little buddy:
Mel Brown make a great point: “Moving to a new house is a great time to change the rules on the family moggie. Cats are protected from being hit by cars, fights with other cats potentially catching feline aids, attacked by neighbourhood dogs, being poisoned, stolen or lost. New homes, new rules, keep your moggie inside.”
“I built a cat run they aren't that expensive if u want kitty to have outdoor time” adds Fiona Mcdonald
Jenni Moore also says: “Keep them indoors ALL the time. They are safe & so is the wildlife outside.”
UPDATE PERSONAL DETAILS. And last but definitely not least, make sure everything is updated with your new details.
Jan Jolly reminds: “UPDATE ALL DETAILS!!! Before the move...microchip, vet, contact numbers etc…”
Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments.
Once again, a heartfelt thank you to everyone for your insightful input in creating this “Moving house with your cat” guide.
REUNION OF THE DAY: Tony the cat lost in Melbourne VIC Friday 01 June 2018 @ 13:00
"Thank you so much for the support you give to us. I am really grateful and feel luck that Tony came back. I would like to share the story Tony's return. I really hope that other people who lost their cats can learn from our experience.
The last time we saw Tony before his missing is around 3:00pm, Saturday afternoon, the 6th May. We have 3 cats, and they are all indoor cats. Tony and Jethro are only turned 1 year old. Alex is still a baby.
We occasionally let Tony and Jethero out for half day on weekends when my husband works in the backyard. Normally, they will want to go back inside the house after a couple of hours. But last Saturday, we saw Tony walking on the fence towards front yard around 3:00pm, then never seeing them again.
We started to call them when sun started to go down, but with no luck. So we searched neighbour area, call their names, but they never came back. We did the search and calling around 9:30 pm, then 11:00pm, no result. We put the cats sleeping bed out in front door, and food bowls out side back door. It was about midnight, my husband went out for last try, he heard a very faint bell in our neighbour's front yard, he went to call the cats name, Jethero came out, tried to sniff his hand but startled by some noise and ran away again.
He quickly came back and get Jethro's food bowl with some food. When the second time he went to call Jethro with the food, the cat came to him and sniffed him, so huby scooped him up, brought him back. But Tony still was nowhere to be seen.
Jethero is a timid cat, he is easy to be scared and always hides. On the contrary, Tony is always buoyant, adventurous, brave, and always seems to be able to protect himself. He probably just wants to wonder around a bit. So we thought he could be alright over on night. He would come back Sunday morning.
However, by 10:00am Sunday morning , there was still no sign of Tony, I felt really heavy in my heart. In the end, Tony is an indoor cat, he never wondered out of our property. He is not experienced, if something had scared him, fear would get the best of him and driven him away from home, he could be disoriented.
So we started the search again. We spent all day walking about the area and streets, calling Tony's name, knocking on neighbours' doors. We did that about every 1~2 hours but without luck. By 12:00 pm midnight, I was exhausted and lost hope. I couldn't sleep. I went out around 1:00am, couldn't call out, so I used his food bowl making knocking sound and make noises with my mouth as well.
I believe that I stirred up all the cats in our neighbourhood. I even got another cat came out talked to me for a couple of minutes. By then, I believed that Tony wasn't nearby and totally lost. I remembered that I read on internet that somebody suggested to search lost pet at around 3:00~4:00am, the quietest time, so the lost pet can hear your voice better.
As the last effort, I went out at around 4:00am, knocking the food bowl and called his name quietly at every inter section in our area and waited a couple of minutes. When Tony didn't turn up, I gave up and went back home around 5:00am.
6:00am Monday morning, we got up to prepare for my daughter for school; and I opened the back screen door (timber door never closed over the past 2 nights just in case he came back, scratching and we cannot hear him) had a last look without any hope in my mind. Its like a miracle, I heard this weak and faint meow on the side of the house, I shout out: 'Tony!'.
Hear he was, timid and hesitated he looked up to me and started to wobbly move towards the door. I scooped him up. He lost a lot of weight in just 2 days. he looked nervous, exhausted and scared. His front paws' skin were ripped off, though the nails seemed intact. I think he must run a long way home. Or probably not far but had to zigzaged a long way to find home. It must be the last round calling at 4:00am worked the miracle. The faint sound and faint hope brought him home.
What I want to say to the fellow owners who lost their pets is that never give up hope. Always try at night or really early morning to search for them. As long as they can hear you, they will come back. They can hear a long way. You need to let them know where is the lighthouse and guide them to come back home.
I apology for my English, which is not my native language. I hope what I write is understandable and can help a bit. Thanks again and kind regards" - Ying
Scaredy Pups: Driving with Dogs Monday 28 May 2018 @ 10:22
You want to be able to go places and do things with your furry friend, and that can be really difficult when your dog experiences a phobia. Over the last few months, we’ve talked about a number of common fears, the most recent of which was the fear of strangers. This is a fear that can develop as a result of a lack of socialisation, or it can be embedded in your dog’s genes. Whatever the reason, it can make going places with your pup very difficult if you don’t find a way to work through it together.
Some of the other common fears that might be standing in your dog’s way include…
We’re nearing the end of our list, but that doesn’t mean we’ve covered every fear your dog might have! If there’s another fear or phobia you’d like us to cover to spread information and awareness, please do get in touch. Until then, we’re going to talk about what you can do if your dog is afraid of cars.
If your dog tends to dive away from or toward passing cars, it can be a very dangerous and scary experience for both of you. If your dog is afraid to go inside or even just close to a parked vehicle, it can become impossible to travel together on outings, moves and vet trips. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help. Although it may be very upsetting or worrying, it’s actually very common to have a dog who is afraid of passing cars.
Try to Stay Cheerful and Relaxed
When dealing with passing traffic, try to use a happy, soothing tone of voice and smile at your dog. If you’re anticipating your dog’s reaction, it’s easy to fall into the trap of tensing up every time a car is nearby. This is something your dog will notice. Try not to reinforce your pup’s anxiety with your own.
Always remember the three key rules for helping a dog’s phobia:
- Do not soothe and cuddle your scared dog. Your dog will read this as a reward, so it’ll only encourage more anxious behaviour.
- Do not force your dog to confront their fear as a “cure”. This will only intensify the phobia, not help it.
- Do not physically punish or shout at your scared dog. This will only cause your dog to associate more negative things with the situation.
My Dog Is Afraid of Car Rides
Being afraid of noisy cars passing by on the road is one thing, but being afraid of riding in a car is a whole other issue. Your dog might be afraid of car rides for any number of different reasons, such as…
- Motion sickness: Humans aren’t the only ones who can vomit or experience nausea when riding in a car. That sick, horrible feeling is a surefire way of getting your dog to associate cars with negative things.
- Negative association: A lot of dogs only find themselves in a car if they’re going somewhere nasty, like the vet’s. If your dog is already scared of the vet, that fear can transfer onto all related experiences.
- Traumatic experiences: If your dog has ever been in a car accident or been hit by a car, they may easily come to associate being in or near cars with extreme danger.
- Trip to the shelter: If you adopted your dog from a rescue or pound, there’s a high chance they’ll associate being put in a car with being taken to a shelter and abandoned. This can be tied in with a fear of abandonment.
- Fear of the unfamiliar feeling: If your dog isn’t used to travelling in a car, the peculiar sensation can be very disturbing. If your dog is already skittish by nature, it can be downright terrifying. Cars also tend to have their own mysterious sounds, sights, vibrations and smells that can be very difficult to understand.
Make a Comfortable, Secure Travel Seat for Your Dog
Try teaching your dog to love the car by giving them somewhere safe and cozy to sit. This can be your dog’s refuge. One of the safest ways for your dog to travel is in a crate, which will give them protection in the event of an accident (N.B.: Not all crates are created equal. Shop around for something heavy-duty if you’re concerned for your dog’s safety!) and helps to stop them from distracting the driver.
If the slope of the car’s seats makes your dog uncomfortable and unstable, you may choose to buy a car leveler, or you can simply make your own using rolled up towels. Try to make your dog’s crate as comfy as you can. It may also be a good idea to drape a breathable towel over the dog’s crate so they can’t be scared by the landscape rushing by, but many dogs prefer to see what’s going on.
Don’t Rush It
Approach your dog’s phobia with a determined, but calm, attitude. As with any other type of training, patience is key here. If you’re taking your dog somewhere in a rush, now is not the time to try and work through these fears. If you want to help your dog, you need to be ready to do it in their time (not yours). This is a process with two prerequisites:
- You have no definite result in mind.
- You are willing to take baby steps.
If you try to begin training having already imagined the outcome, it’ll only lead to disappointment for you and distress for your dog.
At the end of the day, once your dog can be taken on walks without being a danger to itself and others, and taken in cars without being in severe distress or causing major distractions to the driver, you can call that a success. Your dog may never be happy to be around cars, just like some people may never be excited to fly in planes. All that either of you can do is your best.
REUNION OF THE DAY: Prince the Shetland Sheepdog in Perth WA Monday 21 May 2018 @ 13:00
REUNION OF THE DAY: Prince the Shetland Sheepdog in Perth WA
"Prince is like another child to me. We have only been together for 10 months, but he quickly claimed me as his 'mum', and our family have nurtured him from when we first got him at 7 months old. He is a very gentle and special dog, however, is wary of people as it appears that he has suffered some trauma prior to being welcomed into our family.
He went missing in unusual circumstances as I was in a suburb that we were not familiar with (an hour's drive from our home), as I was visiting a friend that day. When I realised he had gone missing I felt sick with anxiety.
I went searching in my car within 10 mins of him being gone, and my friend assisted. We saw him running down a busy road towards another very busy main road, and managed to corner him and he then panicked and ran across the road to the other side and vanished.
We spend until dusk that day searching by car around all the surrounding streets, parks and local bushland and went door knocking to try to find him. I also called all local vets and the pound within 2 hours of his disappearance.
Then later that night I went on all social media platforms with a 'lost' ad, and felt encouraged by the words of support and climbing Facebook coverage, and sharing via 'Lost Pet Finders'. I also checked that Prince's microchip details were current, and informed the Registry that he was lost.
I printed fliers and my friends posted information on their Facebook sites, and other lost animal sites. The following day I went to some petrol stations, stock food places and major shopping centres within a 20 km radius, with the fliers. I found it very encouraging with the positive responses I received.
Within a few hours of driving and searching and distributing the fliers, I received a call from a boy who simply said 'I've found your dog'. The relief from those words was indescribable. I asked him to hold Prince and stay with him until I got there, as he was only a 1 minute drive away.
Prince had exhausted himself from running and was laying down on the verge of his driveway next to his car. When I saw him I was overjoyed, and he had a look of recognition and relief on his face that I won't forget. It turns out that this kind boy had looked at the tag on Prince's collar and had called me from these details.
I was so grateful that he had reunited us, and had also given Prince water to drink, and had stayed with him to ensure he didn't run away. It made me realise how kind and caring people can be, and I was so very grateful for this.
I found the most difficult part of the process was to try to manage the grief and anguish I felt for Prince, and my thoughts about what could happen to him if I didn't find him soon enough. And the helpless feeling of just not knowing where he was or what was happening to him, and imagining the panic and anxiety he must be feeling.
So, I tried to channel all of those sad feelings into absolute determination to do everything possible to find him, as I knew that this was what Prince was depending on. And I wanted to focus on finding him safe, and just bring him home.
I thank everyone who was involved with this journey, and for their support and encouragement, and for helping to increase exposure to improve the chances of finding Prince. It is so lovely to feel that sense of compassion from others.
My heart goes out to the pets and owners who are in the same predicament. Never give up hope, and be relentless in your searching efforts. Although it seems impossible, try to redirect your grief into positive energy and strategies to find your pet as soon as possible.
And most importantly, stay safe in your efforts to do this, and have faith that you will be reunited." - Renee
REUNITED OF THE DAY: Charlie the sulphur-crested cockatoo parrot lost in Sydney NSW Friday 18 May 2018 @ 13:00
REUNITED OF THE DAY: Charlie the sulphur-crested cockatoo parrot lost in Sydney NSW
"Charlie came into my house when my daughter brought him home unexpectedly. Oh not another animal to look after! He had the intellect of a two-year-old child and he very quickly became my two year old.
He warmed to me after a short standoff....being a couple of nasty pecks and ear-piercing screeches to stay away. The owner-breeder stated he was a year old male and already was saying ‘Hello Charlie’. Now he barks when the dogs bark. He tells them ‘Naughty” when they get too noisy and he likes to play and say ‘Peekaboo”. “Whatchadoing’ is one of his favourite words. On a rare special occasion for me, he will call my name. We often had intimate moments where we would kiss and declare our love for each other. He would whisper back squeaking ‘”I love you”’
About seven weeks ago he had a terrible accident where he pierced his bottom beak on the wire holding a seed bell and he was hanging with the wire protruding from his throat. Thankfully I heard his gut wrenching screams and a pair of pliers were handy so I managed to cut him loose and with help hold him to remove the wire. He recovered well and we have an even stronger bond.
Charlie is an escape artist. His wings had been cut but obviously not correctly so he could fly of sorts and on two escapes I was able to coax him down from a tree.
He would remove the wire bars from his cage and I found that he could maneuver the cage catch so it was decided to get a sturdy aviary for him...one designed for Macaws and other big birds.
I had to go into hospital for a spinal fusion and I was told on the first night that he had flown off again but he was hanging around the place and even had spent time visiting our neighbour’s old Cockatoo about half a kilometre away.
As I was the only person he allowed to touch him I knew he would have to wait until I got home from hospital .....certainly making me recover fast from the operation..
I hope you are not going to climb a tree was the discharging nurses concern?
I arrived home to be greeted by ‘whatchadooing’ his voice way up high in one of our casuarina trees.
For the following four or five days, he circled our property and our neighbours had to be tolerant as I constantly called to him to ensure he knew where l was and to entice him home with a promise of a big new aviary and I would get him a friend. I was concerned now as he may not be getting enough food and water and he had had to weather a bad storm. The nights were getting colder.
It was very disheartening when I could not hear him call back. There were other wild Cockatoos in the area I feared that he had venture away and I had lost him forever.
I left a flyer at our local shops and looked to advertise my lost friend on the internet. He had not been heard of for four days day and had been flying around since the 22n April he could be weak and stressed.
I found the LPF website quickly and without hesitating, I registered my lost buddy.
Within a short time, I had posts stating that there was a found cockatoo advertised and I had a pensive wait until the next morning when I contact the Sydney Veterinary Hospital at Kellyville – they had a cockatoo that someone had handed to them.
Was this cockatoo talking so that I could be sure it was him. ‘’No! Kellie said. “He has not said anything however come on in and have a look if it is your cockatoo”.
I drove to the veterinary hospital telling myself the odds are fairly good but not to be disappointed if this bird is not Charlie. He was found in a drain, coaxed out and caught before he could fly off again by come cleaver concerned person.
I arrived at the hospital wondering how to describe a sulphur crested cockatoo when they are all so similar. I wonder whether he had a scar at the base of his beak and throat that would identify him.
I arrived and spoke to the lovely veterinary nurse and she asked me to come to the back. As I approached I called out to Charlie hoping to hear his eager hello back. No call... I had a look in a cage and I saw a cockatoo with his cocky comb in full flare looking down at me. I was told that this is the most interest he has shown since they have had him. I would know as soon as the cage is opened as they
claim he was very stand-offish with everyone.
The cage was opened and he immediately leaned forward for my kisses and cuddles. Shortly after thanking everyone we were in the car heading home At the back door I heard him say “hello Charlie’.
He is still a bit quiet and sooky and sits quietly on the back of my chair eating a piece of apple while I write this. Oh, Charlie what a mess! He will stay inside until his new escape proof aviary is fully built." - Monika